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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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Will ‘Frozen’ Continue the Best Original Song Success of Animated Films?

By Terence Johnson
Managing Editor

One of the bright spots this past film year was the success of Disney’s Frozen. On the strength of its more modern princesses and an infectious score, the film set box office records and has garnered two Oscar nominations, Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Let It Go”, its infectious hit. In honor of Frozen’s nomination, we figured it was time to take a look at the history of animated movies in Original Song.

The history of animated films picking up nominations and wins in Best Original Song is a tale as old as time (see what I did there?). Since the 1930s, animated films have won this award 13 times and received over 50 nominations, which you can see below. This is an even greater feat when you think about the consideration that animated films get when lists of musicals are made (they’re often shrugged to the side).

Of course the success of animated film in Best Original Song would be nothing without the contributions of Disney/Pixar, a category that seems tailor made for this these giants in the animated field. Since the Renaissance in the late 80s, we haven’t gone two years without a Disney/Pixar song as a nominee and nearly all of the winners have come from a Disney/Pixar animated film. Frozen should be in a great position to take home the Oscar next month by virtue of the history.

Or should it? For all of the successes animated films have had in this category, an animated musical hasn’t won this category since 1999 when Phil Collins took home the trophy for “You’ll Be in My Heart.” Since then the Academy has seen fit to reward two Randy Newman songs for animated films that weren’t musicals, even while having big Disney contenders in the field from respected composers. Often voters vote for the catchy tunes in this category, rather than the best ones, which could certainly aid Pharrell’s track for Despicable Me 2.

However, I think that Frozen has enough goodwill built up for it and a powerhouse behind it (Idina Menzel) to fight off the challengers and win the Best Original Song Oscar.

List of Nominees and Winners from Animated Films
“Faithful Forever” — Gulliver’s Travels • Music: Ralph Rainger • Lyrics: Leo Robin
“When You Wish upon a Star” — Pinocchio • Music: Leigh Harline • Lyrics: Ned Washington
“Baby Mine” — Dumbo • Music: Frank Churchill • Lyrics: Ned Washington
“Love Is a Song” — Bambi • Music: Frank Churchill (posthumous nomination) • Lyrics: Larry Morey
“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” — Song of the South • Music: Allie Wrubel • Lyrics: Ray Gilbert
“Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” — Cinderella • Music and lyrics: Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
“The Shadow of Your Smile” — The Sandpiper • Music: Johnny Mandel • Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster
“The Bare Necessities” — The Jungle Book • Music and lyrics: Terry Gilkyson
“Love” — Robin Hood • Music: George Bruns • Lyrics: Floyd Huddleston
“Candle on the Water” — Pete’s Dragon • Music and lyrics: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
“Someone’s Waiting for You” — The Rescuers • Music: Sammy Fain • Lyrics: Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins
“Under the Sea” — The Little Mermaid • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman

“Kiss the Girl” — The Little Mermaid • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman
“Beauty and the Beast” — Beauty and the Beast • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman

“Be Our Guest” — Beauty and the Beast • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman
“Belle” — Beauty and the Beast • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman
“A Whole New World” — Aladdin • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Tim Rice

“Friend Like Me” — Aladdin • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” — The Lion King • Music: Elton John • Lyrics: Tim Rice

“Circle of Life” — The Lion King • Music: Elton John • Lyrics: Tim Rice
“Hakuna Matata” — The Lion King • Music: Elton John • Lyrics: Tim Rice
“Colors of the Wind” — Pocahontas • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” — Toy Story • Music and lyrics: Randy Newman
“Journey to the Past” — Anastasia • Music: Stephen Flaherty • Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens
“Go the Distance” — Hercules • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: David Zippel
“When You Believe” — The Prince of Egypt • Music and lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
“You’ll Be in My Heart” — Tarzan • Music and lyrics: Phil Collins

“Blame Canada” — South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut • Music and lyrics: Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman
“When She Loved Me” — Toy Story 2 • Music and lyrics: Randy Newman
“My Funny Friend and Me” — The Emperor’s New Groove • Music: Sting and David Hartley • Lyrics: Sting
“If I Didn’t Have You” — Monsters, Inc. • Music and Lyrics: Randy Newman

“Father and Daughter” — The Wild Thornberrys Movie • Music and Lyrics: Paul Simon
“Belleville Rendez-Vous” — The Triplets of Belleville • Music: Benoît Charest • Lyrics: Sylvain Chomet
“Believe” — The Polar Express • Music and Lyrics: Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri
“Accidentally in Love” — Shrek 2 • Music: Adam Duritz, Charlie Gillingham, Jim Bogios, David Immerglück, Matthew Malley and David Bryson • Lyrics: Adam Duritz and Daniel Vickrey (all of Counting Crows)
“Our Town” — Cars • Music and Lyrics: Randy Newman
“Down to Earth” — WALL-E • Music: Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman • Lyrics: Peter Gabriel
“Almost There” — The Princess and the Frog • Music and Lyrics: Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans” — The Princess and the Frog • Music and Lyrics: Randy Newman
“We Belong Together” — Toy Story 3 • Music and lyrics: Randy Newman

“I See the Light” — Tangled • Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Glenn Slater
“Real in Rio” — Rio • Music: Sérgio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown • Lyrics: Siedah Garrett
“Happy” – Despicable Me 2 • Music and Lyrics by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” – Frozen • Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

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